Statements from Affordable Housing Leaders after Passing of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

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Affordable housing advocates mourn passing, celebrate legacy of leadership for 
affordable housing

(San Francisco, December 12) – After learning this morning of the sudden and unexpected death of San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee, affordable housing advocates from around San Francisco joined together to share reflections and memories of the Mayor, who was widely recognized and admired for his commitment to the community and legacy of leadership for affordable housing.

Prior to serving as Mayor, Mr. Lee was a strong leader, champion, and attorney for civil, immigrant, and tenant rights. He went on to serve effectively in city government and eventually as City Administrator prior to becoming San Francisco’s first Chinese-American Mayor in 2011.

Among Mayor Lee’s many historic and outstanding achievements on behalf of lower-income families and communities of color includes his forceful and meaningful response to the loss of major state funding for affordable housing when he became Mayor in 2011. He crafted and brought forward to voters Proposition C in 2012 to create San Francisco’s trend-setting Housing Trust Fund. NPH was proud to join him in this successful effort. 

Mayor Lee’s leadership to renovate and revamp the City’s public housing and his promotion of the $310 million affordable housing bond in 2015 will ensure that lower-income residents will be able to continue to live and work in San Francisco for many decades to come.  His efforts to reduce homelessness and promote affordable housing and to move people from homelessness to permanent supportive housing with resident services were important.

Statements from San Francisco Affordable Housing Leaders

“NPH and our members worked closely with Mayor Lee on critical affordable housing initiatives. He inspired us with his insistence that safe, decent and affordable homes for our lower-income residents was his top priority, a basic civil right and the key to making the goal of a just, inclusive and equitable San Francisco possible. We will continue to work to achieve his vision and to honor the legacy of Mayor Edwin M. Lee. May he rest in peace.” — Amie Fishman, Executive Director, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern CA 

“Ed was a point of pride for the Chinese American community. He broke the political glass ceiling for Asian Americans. And in doing so, he continued his fight for housing justice. Ed represented Chinatown public housing tenants in the city’s first rent strike as a law student and young attorney over thirty years ago. As Mayor, he continued that work by leading the city in transforming public housing into community housing through the RAD program.” — Reverend Norman Fong, Executive Director, Chinatown Community Development Center

“Working collaboratively with the Mayor and community to pass Proposition A, the $310 million housing bond in 2015, was one of the proudest moments of my professional career. The Mayor’s leadership focused attention on the problems of homelessness and affordable housing, but brought people together to find solutions.”  — Gail Gilman, CEO, Community Housing Partnership

“As Mayor, Ed Lee’s affordable housing legacy started quickly and included establishing a 30-year Housing Trust Fund to replace lost funding after the dissolution of Redevelopment, a bold initiative to rehabilitate the City’s entire public housing stock in partnership with our local affordable housing organizations, and a vital $310 million affordable housing bond.  CCHO is proud to have worked successfully with him in these efforts. The Mayor was a great supporter for affordable housing.” — Peter Cohen and Fernando Martí, Council of Community Housing Organizations 


Media Inquiries:

Alina Harway, NPH Communications Director
415-989-8160 x36